Socialist Worker

Health workers

Issue No. 1916

AMBULANCE WORKERS in the north east of England have won an important victory.

The North East Ambulance Service was one of the first places to test out Agenda for Change—a scheme to put every NHS employee on new terms and conditions.

Ambulance workers found they would no longer be paid during meal breaks, even though they are on call for emergencies.

The workers, members of the Unison union, took industrial action and went to arbitration.

Unison branch secretary Ray McDermott told Socialist Worker, “We heard on Tuesday of last week that the independent arbitrator decided it was a requirement for ambulance workers to be on call during their meal breaks.

“We are available to answer calls, so we should be paid for the time.”

Union activists calling for a no vote in the ballot on Agenda for Change this autumn are discussing how to win over workers who are still undecided.

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Sat 28 Aug 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1916
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